Ever made a pizza at home and wondered why it wasn’t as good as what you get at a restaurant? You’re not alone. Many people become frustrated when they first start making pizza and it fails to turn out like they had hoped. But if you’re in this situation, don’t be discouraged — odds are, learning how to stretch Neapolitan pizza dough properly can make a world of difference.
Stretching Neapolitan pizza dough the right way can take your pizzas from “okay” to “wow” — it’s what gives your crust that crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside texture that you crave. You’ll have to learn how to do it, but the good news is, it’s probably a lot easier than you think.
Follow our guide below to learn how to stretch Neapolitan pizza dough properly, so you end up with a delicious, authentic Neapolitan-style pizza crust every time. With a little practice, you’ll be making pies that rival (or even beat!) your favorite restaurant’s before you know it!
Stretching Neapolitan Pizza Dough, Step by Step
Step 1: Take your dough (either homemade or a high-quality storebought version) and separate it into 10 oz. portions, working each portion into a ball
Step 2: Lightly coat each doughball in enough flour that it’s no longer sticky to the touch
Step 3: Place the doughball onto a flat, floured surface, then flip it over to ensure that it’s evenly coated in flour all around
Step 4: With both hands, use the tips of your fingers to press down on the dough. Work from the bottom to the top, leaving 1” all around for the crust. Flip the dough over, and repeat until the dough has reached about 8” to 9” in diameter
Step 5: Now that it has been flattened, you can start stretching the Neapolitan pizza dough. Place the flattened dough on top of your two fists, then stretch it by pulling them apart lightly (make sure not to pull too hard — you don’t want to accidentally tear a hole!). Cross your fists one under the other to rotate the pizza slightly, then gently stretch between your fists again. Repeat until the dough has reached about 11” to 12” in diameter.
Now that you’re done stretching your Neapolitan pizza dough, it’s ready for your favorite toppings. Alternatively, you can follow a recipe, from traditional options like Margherita or Pepperoni pizza to more contemporary versions like Buffalo Chicken or Smoked Salmon pizza.
Once you’ve added your desired toppings, go ahead and pop it into your Ilfornino wood-fired pizza oven. In just 60 to 90 seconds, it’ll be ready for you to enjoy hot and fresh out of the oven!
Become a Pizza Pro
Now you know how to stretch Neapolitan pizza dough — but what else can you do to level up your pizza-making skills? Check out the ilFornino Pizza Academy. Choose from a variety of hands-on classes, each one designed to help you create meals that you, your family, and your friends will never forget.